How to Grow Garlic
Garlic is grown from cloves over winter, they will regrow into bulbs which can be harvested the following summer.
Garlic is planted either in Autumn or late winter. Autumn grown garlic will be ready at least a month before late winter planting. This is preferable in smaller spaces as it means the space becomes available sooner to grow something else next summer.
Garlic is grown from the individual cloves that split of a bulb. When they are planted they need to have the flat “base plate” at the bottom and the pointed tip at the top.
They are pushed down about three or four inches into the soil from September to as late as December. They are planted in rows, about six inches apart.
Garlic is very low maintenance, once it has been planted it is mostly left to it’s own. It doesn’t need to be covered in the cold. The frost is what causes the bulb to split into separate cloves, which is why it’s better to plant in Autumn.
In autumn some green shoots may appear, then it looks like the plant is doing nothing all winter. This is normal and it will start growing more rapidly when the days get longer in spring.
They will benefit from a feed in early spring with a fertiliser high in nitrogen (garden centres etc will sell this or your Goody Foody Gardener will bring some) and then again around May, which will help the bulbs to fill out.
When the garlic is ready to harvest the green leaves will yellow and fall over, this is called “dying back.” It’s a sign that the plant is finished and ready to be harvested.
Use a garden fork to gently lift the bulbs from the soil and leave them to dry out.
If possible leave them somewhere the air can circulate, for example hanging them up by the leaves in a garage or similar. Somewhere cool and dry is the best place for them once harvested.